New PhD course to train future leaders to tackle challenges in Aerospace and Energy sectors

Posted by ap507 at Mar 30, 2015 10:29 AM |
University of Leicester organises innovative course to train tomorrow’s engineers

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 30 March

A new postgraduate course has been developed by the University of Leicester’s EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Innovative Metal Processing (IMPaCT) which will train future leaders to tackle challenges in the Aerospace and Energy sectors head-on. 

The new programme aims to provide students from different disciplines with knowledge of a range of metal processing technologies and develop their expertise in solving problems in the industry. 

The Centre, which is directed by Professor Hongbiao Dong from the University of Leicester’s Department of Engineering and brings together world-class metals research teams from the universities of Leicester, Birmingham and Nottingham, is part of a £350 million initiative to train over 3,500 postgraduate students in engineering and physical sciences, announced by the UK Universities and Science Minister in November 2013.

Professor Hongbiao Dong explains: “Metal processing is important to the UK economy. Our Centre provides a stimulating framework through access to distinctive but complementary environments, covering coherent knowledge of metal processing technologies required for making gas turbines for aerospace and power generation applications, for constructing deep-sea gas and oil transportation systems.”

The metal industry provides 11 per cent of the European Union’s total GDP and accounts for 46 per cent of all EU manufacturing.

However, the lack of well-trained metals engineers remains a major concern for the high-value manufacturing industry in Aerospace and Energy Sectors.

The IMPaCT Centre is looking to address this problem through an intensive four-year postgraduate programme designed to prepare future research leaders to tackle the challenges in Aerospace and Energy Sectors.

The four years of training in the Centre will have a broad coverage of metal processing topics, such as single crystal casting, dissimilar welding, net-shape forming, surface engineering and nanomaterial synthesis.

In the first year students can choose Master’s level training modules, have co-located hot desks and use appropriate research facilities in the three universities, and take work experience with world-leading industrial partners.

In the remaining three years, students will conduct PhD research specialising in one of the research themes of the Centre.

“The IMPaCT centre provides students with enriched integrated training with the combination of experimental, analytical, computational and professional skills which are required for innovation.  Our students will lead the UK, in particular the Aerospace and Energy sectors, to new levels of innovation and added value,” says Professor Dong.

The Centre is key to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) strategic investment in manufacturing for the Aerospace and Energy industry and aims to maintain the UK as a world leader in Aerospace and Energy generation.

The Centre has secured significant financial support from EPSRC, the universities of Leicester, Birmingham and Nottingham and industrial partners including Alstom Power, Doncasters Group, Rolls-Royce, ESI, STFC, Tata Steel and TWI.

There are 16 fully funded PhD positions available annually. The Centre has secured funding to cover University fees, research costs, standard EPSRC PhD stipend plus top-ups from industrial partners.

To find out more about IMPaCT and apply for the training course please visit


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Professor Hongbiao Dong at  

Share this page: